Brewbound Podcast 39: Sleeping Giant Founder Matthew Osterman Breaks Down the Contract Brewing Business

Denver’s Sleeping Giant Brewing is one of the largest breweries in the state of Colorado, but it doesn’t produce its own label.

As a result, the company is “100 percent reliant” on its partners’ growth.

“We do look at it as almost a partnership,” Sleeping Giant founder Matthew Osterman told the Brewbound Podcast. “It’s really important that we like what they are doing, we appreciate what they are doing and we think they are going to grow.”

Sleeping Giant typically works with brands that produce or plan to sell more than 2,500 barrels annually, Osterman said.

But competition for contract business has stiffened in recent years, as regional breweries with excess capacity look to stem declines by renting unused tank space to other brands on the rise.

Nevertheless, Osterman is bullish on Sleeping Giant’s strategy – one dedicated entirely to the production of outside craft brands.

“People are flat or down, and they might be interested in that volume now, but that’s not necessarily going to be the case in a year, or five years or 10 years,” he said.

In episode 39 of the Brewbound Podcast, Osterman shares his perspective on the current state of contract brewing in the U.S., and explains how Sleeping Giant competes for business at a time when some well-known regional craft players have opened up their breweries for contract opportunities.

Listen to episode 39 of the Brewbound Podcast above, as well as on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, and Soundcloud. New episodes of the Brewbound Podcast, which is co-hosted by Chris Furnari and Justin Kendall, are published every Thursday.

Episode 40, featuring Bill Shufelt, the co-founder of Athletic Brewing, will be released on Thursday, June 13.

For questions, comments or suggestions, please email

Show Notes:

0:00 – 20:35: Chris Furnari and Justin Kendall introduce episode 39 and discuss news

20:35 – 52:15: Furnari and Kendall interview Matthew Osterman

52:15 – 1:11:10: Furnari and Kendall share takeaways from the interview + rundown segments

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